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What are the key ideas that underpin social work practice? This inspiring Reader brings together some of the most significant ideas which have informed social work practice over the last forty years. Exploring these fundamental ideas, the book includes commentaries that allow the reader to understand the texts on their own terms as well as to be aware of their relations to each other and to the wider social work context. An accessible introduction contextualises the reader, summarising the main themes and highlighting key issues. The book is then divided into three main sections, each presenting key texts which have contributed to the development of: the profession of social work social work knowledge and values social work skills and practice. There is no settled view or easy consensus about what social work is and should be, and the ideas reflected in this volume are themselves diverse and complex. The contributions are drawn from a wide range of perspectives: psychological, sociological, philosophical, educational and political, as well as perspectives which are grounded in the experiences of practitioners and those who use services. This important resource is essential reading for all social work students.